Archive for the ‘Cycling – Stuff Breaks’ Category
Just about ready to ready off to Lands End for this year’s Folding Bike Challenge. This handlebar shot shows:
- Non-matching brakes – following an emergency replacement of the front (LHS) set up following the SLX caliper starting to leak oil onto the rotor
- Handlebar mount for GoPro camera
- Rixen Kaul stem mount for map holder
- Cat Eye computer with nearly 1899 miles on the clock
Just got to spend a day on the train to the start now.
…and it ‘ll take good care of you. Back from Much Wenlock I was washing my bike down when I noticed something rubbing on the cassette. Closer inspection revealed that it was the inside nut from the gear hanger – the bolt had come undone and disappeared. The hanger was staying in place because the skewer was clamping it in place. Not a big problem, a trip to Butterworths, got a replacement and I was good to go.
The photo above shows my friend Peter’s discovery when washing his titanium bike earlier this week – a cracked non-drive side chain stay. Far better to discover this in the back garden than barreling down a hill at 30mph!
Keep washing your bikes folks!
Cycling home on my Tikit on Friday evening in the dark, I thought I had run over something plastic with my back wheel. Daylight revealed it was the front mudguard, which had snapped at the single mounting point. It had fallen off and I had ridden over it none the wiser. This is not particularly upsetting, it is a small piece of the bike and wear and tear is to be expected. At first I thought that I wouldn’t bother replacing it. However given the dirty roads we have at the moment, it is clear that the front mudguard protects the hyperfold cable and its routing through the bearing at the bottom of the head tube and so it might be wise to.
My wife essentially only rides her Tikit in good weather, so I think I know where the mudguard is coming form.
I know some people do, and they seem to enjoy it
One of the things this cold snowy weather in the UK brings home to you is the extent to which we have a car culture. It is assumed that the roads will be kept clear for motorists. Motoring lobby groups such as the AA fill the airwaves with strident comments about the extent to which Local Authorities are up to the challenge. The press release they used to get the media invites mentions the number of extra call outs they receive in wintry conditions. But the ‘right to drive’ discourse is so predominant that there is no mention of the fact that some of the call outs and accidents might just possibly be the result of motorists not having the skills to cope with the weather, or not necessarily changing their tyres before they get dangerous, and above all that the sensible course of action might be not to drive at all and leave the roads for those like the emergency services who have an absolute need to be on the road. And the argument is backed with two favourites of mine:
‘He (Edmund King, AA President ) also pointed out that a post-code lottery exists as regards how much of a priority some local authorities place on keeping roads free of ice and snow.’ No shit. And what exactly is wrong with a post-code lottery. Maybe some Local Authoritiess decide that at the margin education is more important than grit. Life is a post-code lottery. It is about time we grew up and realised that fact. And recognised that we in the UK are the bloody winners. If you doubt this, you might want to swap your ticket with someone in Swaziland. no snow there, just life expectancy of 39.6 years.
The second is the reliance on economics and old favourite, the cost to the economy: ‘In February the chaos on the roads had severe effects – it is estimated to have cost the economy £1.2bn’ This figure is a repeat of an estimate made at the time by the Federation of Small Businesses, who are no doubt very pleased that this hoary old crap is being repeated. The underlying methodology with these type of estimates is flawed. It assumes that when people can’t get to work sales are lost. The approach is flawed because it doesn’t take account of displaced demand and second order effects. If I as a consumer wanted to go and buy a widget and Grunnings Engineering is shut because of the snow, it is possible that I might go along and buy the same widget on the next clear day. After all I still need the widget. Alternatively maybe I only wanted the widget, I didn’t need it. I can’t buy a widget as Grunnings is shut and I can’t get to my workplace. Maybe I’ll just turn the heating up and spend the widget money on keeping warm. Grunnings’ loss, is British Gas’ gain. Net cost to the economy, zero.
On 9 September, my Seasons Tikit deposited me on the road. Following emergency braking, the left fork blade snapped, the front wheel twisted until the tyre jammed against the right fork blade and I went flying over the handlebars. This is what the bike looked like after the incident.
Luckily because I was on an organised ride I was quickly attended to by a doctor who treated my injuries. If you really want to see them, there is a photograph here.
When I returned home I emailed a set of photos with a description of the incident to Rob English at Bike Friday. Read the rest of this entry »
Day one was to prove eventful. The slogan for the Folding Bike Challenge was ’400 kilometres, 4 days, 1 bike’ By the time I had covered the route from the London Eye to Portsmouth I was on bike number 3. Read the rest of this entry »
And unfortunately this morning so did average speed, distance and cadence.
Turning sharply on the descent of Walkley Lane, I went one way and the computer went the other. Centripetal or Centrifugal Force. One or the other. Anyway it hit the deck, bounced and no longer works. Closer inspection reveals that the two tabs which lock into the bracket on the stem have sheared off.
Something else to replace. Cycling should save you money and get you fit. Trouble is the fitter you get, the more often you seem to end up shelling out.
OK so here’s a thing. You buy a new bike and love it. You look after it and keep it for best. In particular you only use it on sunny days. Unfortunately days that start sunny sometimes don’t end that way. This is England after all. But nevertheless when you put the bike away in the autumn you are pleased that you have taken good care of it. You have ridden perhaps 1500 miles and you have only got the bike wet twice, once for 15 miles of a return trip the second time for about 45 miles.
So when you come to retrieve the bike from its nice warm spare bedroom in the spring and inspect it, what do you think you need to replace? Click to see the components which leave you smiling and bouncy and the other one.
Grr! And it seems I am not alone, see here